The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned commercial airlines flying over the Persian Gulf are at risk of being targeted by the Iranian military as a result of “miscalculation or misidentification”.
The warning comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States, following America’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord.
“Although Iran likely has no intention to target civil aircraft, the presence of multiple long-range, advanced anti-aircraft-capable weapons in a tense environment poses a possible risk of ‘miscalculation or misidentification’, especially during periods of heightened political tension and rhetoric,” the warning said.
But despite the warning, the US still yet to “publicly explain the threats they perceive coming from Iran”, according to reports.
Iran has dismissed the allegation, with Iran’s Mission to the United Nations (UN) spokesperson Alireza Miryousefi saying there “has never been a threat or risk to civilian air traffic in the Persian Gulf from Iran”.
Airlines operating out of Dubai International Airport – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways – told ABC News that commercial operations remain unaffected by the FAA warning.
Al Jazeera reported Monday that Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, has also urged the UN in an open letter to help launch a diplomatic dialogue between the two embroiled countries, amid an “alarming security situation” in the Gulf.
The letter came reportedly as tensions mounted between “Iran on one side” and “US and its allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)” on the other.
“The eruption of any possible conflict will soon cross over from the regional level and will definitely have serious and extensive implications on international peace and security,” Ravanchi warned.
The ambassador also reportedly added that Iran would “never choose war”; however, “if war is imposed on us, Iran will vigorously exercise its inherent right to self-defence”.
Ravanchi’s response came a day after US President Donald Trump publicly threatened Iran with its “official end” if it threatened the United States.
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, denounced Trump’s “genocidal taunts” and urged the US to “address the Islamic Republic with respect and not threats of war”.